News & Analysis

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    New York’s “ecommerce” companies are more fashion than tech. But that’s a good thing

      Ecommerce is a fickle bitch. It seems so easy with its clear cut business model. At times the budding Web ecosystems of San Francisco, New York, and LA have all been lulled by the ecommerce siren song, only to see a wasteland of once-hyped companies that couldn’t scale or come up with a customer acquisition cost that didn’t make Wall Street want to barf. So is it a worry that some of the more promising New York companies are…
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    Indiegogo’s PR person doesn’t want me to tell you that he’s telling you nothing about Indiegogo

    “We strategically manage reputations based on our proven understanding of how and why some stories have impact, while others fade away.”Goldin Solutions Throughout Pando’s reporting on Indiegogo scampaigning in 2014 the company has been comically tightlipped. Of 16 requests for comment I’ve made to the company dating back to the end of March — on everything from a currently running campaign for the Ritot smartwatch that has banked $1.3 million despite being proven to be complete…
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    Alibaba: A tasty dish (just don’t ask how it’s made)

    “When you trust, everything is simple. When you don’t trust, things get complicated.” Jack Ma Alibaba is here. Much like a pregnancy, the IPO involved years of planning, months of gestating, and, finally, weeks of mounting hype. The NYSE midwifed the offering with the utmost care to avoid another Facebook, and the result was a textbook example of a successful IPO: priced at $68 a share, opening at $92.70 a share, with strong demand throughout.…
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    Want to start the next billion dollar company? Look on Craigslist, says investor Jeremy Levine

    As massively disruptive as Craigslist has been — particularly to the newspaper industry which has lost an estimated $5 billion in revenue to the online classified site — it doesn’t exactly impress in terms of design, software, or user experience. Sure, its simplicity has always been part of its charm, and what it lacks in grace it makes up for in breadth of potential use cases. Furthermore, far be it from me to tell Craig Newmark how to run a company with over 20 billion…
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    Bitcoin slumps amid Apple Pay competition, Alibaba IPO buzz, and lingering regulatory doubts

    The price of bitcoin is in a bit of a free fall this week, after blowing through its prior floor of $450 in early morning trading. The CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index currently sits at $396.91 as of this writing with no signs of the decline abating. There are numerous theories swirling that seek to explain this sudden downtrend, but the reality is that it’s unlikely to be a single smoking gun and rather the conflation of multiple factors, each of which independently…
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    Finally the tech world gives a shit about nursing moms

    Sorry for the aggressive headline there, but the abysmal state of breast pumps is a topic that is close to my heart. Thankfully for now I mean that just figuratively but for, three years of my life, I meant it literally. I hope I’m not done having kids but, at the same time, I would go through labor twice not to have to ever strap on a breast pump again. Feeding a baby is one of the most humanizing things in the world. Pumping…
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    Crazy, or crazy brilliant? Change Lane looks to Uber-ify oil changes

    There’s ambitious startup ideas and then there’s those ideas that defy logic. But it’s these crazy businesses, when they pan out, that turn out to be the unicorns that disrupt industries and define venture capital portfolios. Uber convincing open-road loving Americans to give up their cars in favor of ride-sharing is one example of an idea crazy enough it might work. As is AirBnB’s wacky belief that people would welcome strangers into their home or that travelers would choose to…
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    Investors cash-in on Alibaba IPO

    Want to know who’s cashing-in on Alibaba’s IPO? Well, Yahoo has sold off almost $9 billion worth of its stock in Alibaba, founder Jack Ma has sold off $867 million, and its largest shareholder, SoftBank, has sold off $0, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek.
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    Uber suffers yet another setback in Europe with France’s new “anti-Uber” law

    In a move certain to make Travis Kalanick stare out a window while dispassionately smoking a long cigarette, France has passed a new law meant to make it harder for companies like Uber to convince potential riders that they should use a car-on-demand service instead of hailing a cab. The law prevents ride-hailing services like Uber from sharing a driver’s location with potential riders, which in turn stops those riders from summoning the car closest to them, with the…
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    Thanks to the Apple Watch, is the time finally right for a “Twitter for audio”?

    Many companies have tried to build a “Twitter for audio” app without achieving much widespread adoption. There’s Audioboo, Spreaker, and even SoundCloud tried to position itself a couple years ago as a place for everyday people to upload short audio messages to share with friends and family. SoundCloud has since refocused on its core users – musicians – and is doing just fine.. So when I heard that yet another “Twitter for audio” app was launching…
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    Europe gets tougher with “right to be forgotten” ruling

    Google’s fight against European governments has become a bit more frustrating. The data protection authorities in Europe said on Thursday that they will soon require companies like Google, affected by the controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling, to develop “common case-handling criteria,” create a “common record of decisions,” and contribute to a “dashboard to help identify similar cases as well as new or more difficult cases.” Those additional requirements will make a hard task even more difficult for search companies,…
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    Jeremy Levine on why so many Silicon Valley investors passed on Pinterest

    $762.5 million in funding. A $5 billion valuation. 70 million hyper-engaged users who actually buy shit, and that’s just as of last year — this number is almost surely higher today. And yet Pinterest doesn’t always get a lot of respect among many New York and Silicon Valley elites. Maybe it’s because 92 percent of its activity is generated by women, who are disproportionately unrepresented among venture capitalists and venture-funded founders. Maybe it’s because the network is favored by…
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    Chris Christie lies yet again. Tells press conference that Sirota was fired by Pando over inaccuracies

    I thought we’d already put this to bed, but apparently not. Speaking in a press conference today, New Jersey governor Chris Christie responded to the continuing scandal over his handling of New Jersey pension funds by adding yet another lie to his long, long record of untruths. Asked once again about the scandal, he responded that David Sirota, the journalist who broke the story while at Pando, was fired for inaccuracy. He also called David a “discredited journalist”…
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    “Kid, haven’t you heard of Friendster? Forget about it.” How Jeremy Levine missed out on Facebook

    “If you invested in every one of the ten next best VC investments, but you miss a Facebook or a Google, the next ten don’t add up to even one of a Facebook or a Google.” Thus is the nature of regret in the venture capitalism world. That quote was just dropped by Bessemer Venture Partners’ Jeremy Levine at tonight’s PandoMonthly in New York. Levine has had plenty of successes: Pinterest, Yelp, and LinkedIn, to name three. But the investment he’ll never forget…
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    What if Oracle’s CEO changes were a crazy plot to secure Ellison’s legacy?

    When the Roman Emperor Tiberius had to choose a successor, he actually chose two: His grandson Gemellus and the notorious Caligula. History books tell us that Tiberius was being shrewd: He knew he was widely despised as a ruler, and had an idea that Caligula would end up in charge and leave Rome with an Emperor that, by comparison, left his legacy looking pretty good. The news of Larry Ellison handing over the CEO role at Oracle to two successors (the…
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The Week in Review